Wednesday, August 8, 2007

WBW #36 "Naked"! - Unoaked Chardonnay Wine!

Congrats are in order for Lenndavours on this 3rd Anniversary of Wine Blogging Wednesday! And now with the new team and new site for WBW it will be a one stop place to hang out for the day. I must say I really enjoy WBW, as all the wine bloggers I visit get together for a wine adventure with the same theme. It’s one heck of a blogging party!

First of all in this month's adventure, to be honest with you, I am not a big fan of U.S. Chardonnays. But French Chardonnay’s are another story. I truly enjoy them. What is the difference? Oak. Personally, I do not like the heavy oak taste that so many U.S. Chardonnays contain. Without oak, Chardonnay generally produces a soft wine, often with lots of fruity flavors. So searching out an “Unoaked” Chardonnay, a French unoaked Chardonnay, was an a real trip especially by just checking out the labels. The French do not put “unoaked” on their labels. In fact, I think they could use some help in the “information on label” department. So I went to the all informative wine shop clerk and he led me straight to what I was looking for.

The choice I brought home was a 2005 Louis Pierre Et Fils Chardonnay Vin de Pays d’Oc. This Languedoc region wine is produced in the South of France and made from 100% Chardonnay grapes. The region is blessed with a fine sunny climate overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This sunshine was bottled in this lovely wine that had loads of refreshing aromas of citrus on the nose which then transferred to the palate. Lemons and hints of melon were dancing on my palate with a nice balance of acidity ready for pairing with my favorite light summer fare. The wine had a 12.5% alcohol volume to it which made the wine not so overpowering. At a price of under $13.00, I found it to be an “Unoaked” Chardonnay that I would pick up again.

On leaving the wine shop, I just had to swing through the Australian aisle. On glancing at one of my favorite wines produced by Villa Maria, I noticed that they had an “Unoaked Chardonnay”. Cool! I’ll just have to try this one as I really enjoy their Sauvignon Blanc. Unfortunately, my excitement ended when I opened this wine. The 2005 Villa Maria Unoaked Chardonnay is produced in the Hawke’s Bay area of New Zealand. This wine had an alcohol volume of 14% and that was the problem.

On unscrewing the cap, which I totally enjoyed due to the descriptive label informing me about the value of the screw cap, a heavy alcohol aroma was the first thing to hit my nose. After that cleared, I did start pulling out the fruit aromas. OK, over that, now for the taste. The alcohol was very prominent on the palate which gave the wine a somewhat bitter taste to me at first. All was not lost though, I did pull out ripe peach flavors on this full bodied, intense wine and it had a long finish. Part of the reason for the long finish was due to the alcohol warmth I felt as the wine went down my throat. The price of this wine was under $15.00, but I will not pick this one up again. That is too bad, as I really enjoy their Sauvignon Blanc:(

I must say I surely enjoyed my journey searching and tasting these "naked" Unoaked Chardonnays on WBW #36. Thanks Gang!


Lucy said...

Hi Deb - pleased to have found you here! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Not much of a fan of Chardonnay either, oaked or unoaked, but do love a good Sauvignon Blanc. Must see if I can taste the difference in Chardonnay's next time someone opens a bottle or three...

winedeb said...

I agree with you Lucy, nothing can beat a good Sauvignon Blanc, especially those from your end of the world!